Feb 1, 2013 10:00am PST
does this leave him? assume that he gets confirmed, he has to be a tough -- a tough guy at the pentagon. he is going to be tough with congress. he has to deal with the potential of the sequester, fighting for the budget that he does get, dealing with all of the problems that come at you when you are in charge of the pentagon and the generals and the other members of the joint chiefs are going to feel they can run over him. >> we'll see about that. i assume that every general with any number of stars was watching intently yesterday, and might have had that thought in mind. you said another important word, which is sequester. it's going to be a huge mess over there trying to, first, anticipate this, and then deal with whatever the new reality is. i do think that it was ugly yesterday. it was ugly on both sides. the white house wasn't so much from what i heard defending his performance as saying that those mean republicans also performed in an ugly and bad and not very attractive way. i don't think anybody looked particularly good in that showdown. i also think it's very clear that this is
Feb 8, 2013 10:00am PST
, that this sequester is -- because of its sort of blunder bust approach that it does not permit the pentagon to make intelligent choices about what is needed, so it is going to get to readiness. ready city council what we need. >> this is the absurdness of washington. >> the white house proposed the -- >> proposing to get agreement on this. now the new strategy is, yeah, but you can't let that sequester happen because the spending cuts would be so awful when, in fact, there are democrats like dick durbin who will be on the program sunday who have said he doesn't really have a problem with the amount of spending cuts in the pentagon. it's a matter of how you go about doing it. republicans i think also have some leverage here by saying, you know, if you really get us down to it, if have to swallow these spending cuts, we're going take them because that might be good. you got your revenues there. zoolt sequester, we don't like it, but before it on. >> there's a lot of pain. particularly if are you from virginia and you have military cuts coming down your way, this is tough. spending cuts are tough. the
Feb 4, 2013 10:00am PST
immediate to both operate inside the pentagon, and that's -- you heard robert gibbs, former press secretary yesterday say it was a little disconcerting watching him give those answers. they made a strategic decision not to have a debate with those republican senators. trying to not start fights, but was he too passive? >> there was a way to push back. david sanger, he could have said i disagree with you about the surge. senator mccain, you're my great friend, but let's talk about what's really going on. we have 66,000 troops at afghanistan right now. he didn't pivot. he didn't push back. he didn't fight. david brooks, your columnist in "the "new york times"" suggested to chuck this weekend that he should even go so far as saying to the president, mr. president, do you have second thoughts? should i withdraw? that's rather more than i would have expected at this point. >> you know, i think there were two remarkable elements to the testimony that former senator hagel gave. he seemed unprepared on basic issues. we were discussing iran before. he had a difficult time even articulating the presi
Feb 7, 2013 10:00am PST
on defense. the pentagon's top brass pushed back on questions about the military response in benghazi. >> are you surprised that the president of the united states never called you secretary panetta, and says how is it going? >> you know, normally in these situations -- >> did he know the level of threat that -- >> let me finish the answer. we were deploying the forces. he knew we were deploying the forces. he was being kept -- >> i hate to intript you, but i have limited time. we didn't deploy any forces. >> it was over by the time -- >> mr. secretary, you didn't know how long the attack would last. did you ever call him and say, mr. president, it looks like we don't have anything to get there any time soon? >> the event was over before -- >> it lasted almost eight hours, and my question to you is during that eight-hour period did the president show any curiosity about how is this going, what kind of assets do you have helping these people? did he ever make that phone call? >> look, there is no question in my mind the president of the united states was concerned about american lives.